I spent a lot of time last week involved in events that related to the Brooklyn Book Festival: talking with Luke B. Goebel, watching excellent readings by the likes of Dmitry Samarov and Megan Stielstra, and hearing a deeply reworked version of Karl Ove Knausgård’s opus. In the midst of all of this came the announcement of the National Book Award fiction longlist, several of which I had already been meaning to read. I’ll be wrangling with two of these books […]
#tobyreads: Reading in Hudson
I was up in Hudson last weekend with plenty of time on hand before the evening’s music festival kicked off. I also had four hours total on the train to get up there and back; due to my just missing my northbound train, I also had a little extra time in scenic Penn Station to get some reading done. What were my subjects? Heroes, innovators, and figures who left this world far too soon.
#tobyreads: From Comedies of Manners to Surreal Crimes
The other night, I was out with friends talking books, as tends to happen more than a little frequently. The subject of agency of main characters came up; the question of whether a particular central character was more proactive or reactive. This is something I think about a lot, both as a reader and as a writer. There have been things I’ve written that, on reflection, seem to be more or less a series of things happening to someone than […]
#tobyreads: On Celebrity, On Mortality, On Points of View
In this week’s column, I look at short books from Sarah Manguso, Matthew Dickman, Forrest Gander, and Simon Jacobs.
#tobyreads: Three Trips Into the Unknown
I haven’t done a comics-focused column in a while; seems like it’s the right time to remedy that. While none of the three books here is exactly what I’d call holiday weekend beach reading, there’s plenty to entertain in these volumes–and more than a little to unsettle as well.
#tobyreads: Reading Culture, Reading Politics
A couple of weeks ago, I was out with friends talking books. My friend Jeremy recommended that I check out Ben Davis’s 9.5 Theses on Art and Class; from his description, it sounded intriguing, and I ordered it that night via WORD. The title is pretty self-explanatory: you’re going to get a lot of musings on art as it relates to class here. Given that I’m fond of smart writing on both subjects–which can be found in abundance here–this is not […]
#tobyreads: Journeys and Fragments
I spent the weekend in central New Jersey, watching friends get married on a farm and doing a bit of exploring in and around Bordentown, New Jersey. Highly recommended: Randy Now’s Man Cave, a shop run the man responsible for booking Trenton’s City Gardens for many years, where I bought soda from Detroit and found a Huggy Bear 10″. Also? I did some reading.
#tobyreads: Myths and Realism and Where They Meet
Today’s weekly reading column looks at new books from Sam Pink, Noah Cicero, Kate Bernheimer, Michael J. Seidlinger, and Miranda Mellis.